Inter-American Court Calls on Peru To Annul Grupo Colina Ruling

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has called on Peru to revoke a ruling issued two months ago by the country’s Supreme Court that reduced the prison sentences for members of a paramilitary death squad.

The regional court gave Peru until January 20, 2013 to annul the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying that if it fails to do so it could issue a resolution to revoke the ruling.

In July, Peru’s Supreme Court, led by Justice Javier Villa Stein, reduced the prison sentence for members of the Grupo Colina, arguing that the killing of 25 people in several  different incidents in the early 1990s could not be considered “crimes against humanity” as they were acting as part of a chain of command within the army and that they were fighting terrorists.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was heavily crticisized by President Ollanta Humala’s administration, as well as international rights organizations.

The Grupo Colina, wearing masks, machine-gunned 15 people, including an 8-year-old boy, in the courtyard of a tenement building in Lima’s Barrios Altos district in 1991 and kidnapped, tortured and murdered nine students and one professor at La Cantuta University in 1992.   There were a series of other murders attributed to them, including that of several small farmers in the Santa valley north of Lima, the assassination of union leader Pedro Huillca, and the murder of one woman and the torture of another, both of whom had been members of their team. 

The Supreme Court, under Villa Stein, argued to reduce the sentences for the Grupo Colina members arguing that it was not a crime against humanity The killings occurred during the state’s offensive against Shining Path rebels,  who were equally bloody in their indiscriminate targeting and killing of frequently poor peasants and villagers who opposed the Maoist-inspired ideology of its leader, Abimael Guzman.

The Colina Group killings occurred during President Alberto Fujimori’s administration (1990-2000), who is also serving jail time for human rights crimes directly related to the paramilitary squad —he was charged and convicted for having knowledge of and of approving and authorizing their strategies and targets.

Prominent Peruvian human rights lawyers are now calling for the National Council of Magistrates to sanction Villa Stein.

2 Comments

  1. It is a shame! Peru should retire from that leftist organizacion! No wonder USA it is not part of it.

  2. All of these ‘Human Rights Activists’ either weren’t living here at the time, or are very young….or worse…have very short memories.

    The other possibility, of course……is that they don’t see the Senderos as disgusting murderers, but are theire ‘heroes’.?????

    Perhaps better education in our schools is the answer…”those peoples who forget their history, are doomed to repeat it”.

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